Published on July 1, 2015

Movie recommendations for world travelers

Before heading off on your international adventure, check out some of these documentaries and feature films that lend real insight into the lives of travelers. The world we live in has endless paths that diverge and curve and can lead us to unexpected places - if we let them. As the following films chronicle, many of these journeys end up teaching us just as much about ourselves as the world around us.




Baraka - This stunning, unforgettable documentary film relies mainly on visuals to tell its story, which features breathtaking, real moments and scenes from places all around the world. Nature, humanity and everything in between is on display in this film, which maintains no conventional narrative.


Into the Wild - Christopher McCandless abandons his worldly possessions and pursues a more simple life in the Alaskan wilderness. In his adventures surviving in the wild, Christopher draws wisdom from the various influential characters he meets along the way.




The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - In search of a crucial set of photo negatives to develop for his job at Time Magazine, Walter Mitty begins to step outside his routine and become a risk-taking traveler. In his adventures, Mitty makes discoveries about the world, about himself and changes his life forever.


A Map for Saturday - This inspirational travel documentary follows the lives and adventures of backpackers of all ages who follow their intuition to new and exciting places around the world. The film explores the nature of long-term traveling and the type of experiences that arise from being constantly on-the-go and exploring new places.


Motorcycle Diaries - Before becoming the South American political icon he is today, a young Che Guevara takes a motorcycle trip throughout South America. During his travels, Guevara becomes increasingly aware of the great social inequality that plagues the region.


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180 South - This documentary film revisits a trip adventurer Jeff Johnson took to the wilderness of Patagonia in 1968. Repeating the initial excursion, two generations of adventurers are joined by a shared passion for Patagonia and the wild.


Samsara - From the creators of Baraka, Samsara similarly explores the world's wonders in a tapestry of powerful, vivid images from around the world. This visual documentary registers beauty, spirituality and humanity from around the world.


Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Two young American women spend a summer in Spain at their friend's home in Barcelona. The two women are seduced by a local painter, who challenges their ideas of love, sex and relationships.


Tracks - Tracks is based on the incredible true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who decided to cross the Australian Outback alone in 1977. Davidson's journey on camel took her nine months to complete.


Sources: IMBD, Wikipedia


Photo 1. based on Into the Wild, by Gaurav Mishra, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. from

Photo 3. based on Untitled, by Alex, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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